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New home sales hit post-recession high

New home sales increased 4.1 percent on a year-to-date basis, according to an August report from the National Association of Home Builders.

“Builder confidence continues to trend upward as lower interest rates provide for more favorable buying conditions,” Greg Ugalde, NAHB chairman, said in a statement that accompanied the report.

“New home sales were sharply revised upward in June to a post-recession high annual rate of 728,000,” added the NAHB’s chief economist, Robert Dietz. “While we continue to see volatility in the monthly numbers, sales continue to trend in a slightly positive direction and are in line with our forecast.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted, according to the NAHB. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the July reading of 635,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

The total inventory of new homes for sale was 337,000 in July, representing a supply of almost six-and-a-half months. The median sales price was $312,800.

Regionally, and on a year-to-date basis, new home sales increased in the South (7.2 percent) and West (9.5). Sales decreased in the Northeast (15.4 percent) and Midwest (12.4).

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